Israel’s Mossad intelligence service obtained details of Syria’s covert nuclear facility by secretly obtaining data left on the laptop computer of a Syrian official who visited London, according to a German magazine report.
The U.S. National Security Agency played a key role in identifying the Syrian nuclear facility at al Kibar after communications between Syria and North Korea were intercepted in the spring of 2004, Germany’s Der Spiegel reported Nov. 4.
However, the intelligence coup on the facility was scored by Israel’s Mossad at the end of 2006 a high-ranking Syrian government official, kept under observation by Mossad stayed at a hotel in London's posh Kensington district and left his computer behind in the hotel room.
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“Agents installed a spy program on the laptop, a Trojan horse that secretly steals data,” Der Spiegel report.
“On the hard drive are blueprints, letters, and hundreds of photos. The pictures above all are revealing,” it stated. “They show the al Kibar complex, in all stages of creation. In the beginning (presumably in 2002, the material is not dated) the construction site looks like a tree house on stilts, with suspicious pipelines to a pumping station on the Euphrates.”
The construction was designed to fool overhead satellite reconnaissance photo that were designed to make the plan look normal from space. However, interior photos showed the plant was a nuclear facility.